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In 2006, when the staff of the Aeroelasticity Branch at NASA’s Langley Research Center learned that it would test ground wind loads for the Ares I-X launch test vehicle, Donald Keller and Thomas Ivanco went in search of history.

The branch had performed similar tests in the Transonic Dynamics Tunnel (TDT) in Hampton, Virginia, for the Saturn V that was used to carry Apollo aloft but had conducted few such tests since. After all, NASA hasn’t built a human-rated launch vehicle designed to send astronauts to the moon and beyond since Saturn V in the 1960s.